These Pittsburgh Pirates Could Hit 20+ Home Runs in 2016

jbdemers
Oct 2, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third base coach Rick Sofield (41) greets center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) after McCutchen hit a solo home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the fourth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 2, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third base coach Rick Sofield (41) greets center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) after McCutchen hit a solo home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the fourth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Josh Bell, 1B/OF

Feb 25, 2016; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell (55) poses for a photo at Pirate City. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 25, 2016; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell (55) poses for a photo at Pirate City. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /

Josh Bell is another top prospect for the Pirates. He may be a candidate for first base now that Pedro Alvarez is gone. But even there he is a question mark as his defense is well below average (he made 16 errors there last season). On the other side of the ledger he hits for average – .347 in AAA last year  – but not for power. The reason, according to Baseball Prospectus, is “that he doesn’t tap into his lower half well” when swinging. Seemingly, the Pirates aren’t quite sure what to make of Bell yet either. He simply might need more time to figure it out.

Prediction:  Bell gets some time in Pittsburgh this year, maybe 100 at-bats at most, and hits his first and only home run of the season in July. With the Pirates depth chart showing Jaso, Morse, Rogers and Rodriguez there is still no room for Bell.

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